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Neuroborreliosis and Lyme Brain Image from Marty Ross MD

Brain Function and Lyme Disease

Most people with Lyme disease have various problems with brain function including poor memory and difficulty processing or working with information. Some have severe brain injury or spinal cord injury showing up as Multiple Sclerosis Lyme, Parkinson's Disease Lyme, Alzheimer's Disease Lyme, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Lyme. Here are some steps to take in addition to treating the underlying infections.

Support Supplements

First it is important to provide essential micronutrients in a multi-vitamin that includes vitamin B12 and vitamin D3.

Curcumin 500mg 1 pill 3 times a day may decrease brain inflammation from a chemical called quinolinic acid that occurs in brain infection. In addition lithium orotate 5mg 1 pill 3 times a day may improve nerve signaling (nerve transmission) and protect the brain from toxins. Read more about curcumin and lithium orotate.

To repair the nerve tissue use glutathione. Glutathione is the master reparative anti-oxidant made in all of our cells. It is particularly helpful in nerve injury. It is important to use an oral brand that microscopically wraps the glutathione in a type of fat called phospholipids. These increase the absorption of this powerful anti-oxidant. It is called liposomal glutahione when it is wrapped in fat. Use glutathione 500 mg one time a day. Another option is to use IV glutathione or nebulized (delivers the drug as a mist into the lungs where it is absorbed into the blood stream) glutathione which provide even better absorption than oral forms. Read Glutathione: The Great Fixer on this site for more information.

Finally, a phospholipid fats and mitochondria vitamin complex called NT Factor can repair the outer membrane of the injured nerves and improve the functioning of the energy factories found in our cells. These energy factories are called mitochondria. In chronic infections the outer membrane of the mitochondria are injured by excess oxidizing agents made in cells. When the outer membrane is damaged the chemical reactions that create cell energy do not take place efficiently. This can starve the nerve cells of energy they require to heal. Mitochondria phospholipid fats are phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl serine. Take NT Factor 750 mg 2 pills 3 times a day for 2 months, then decrease to one pill 3 times a day for 4 more months.

Where to Start

Treat the infections first with antimicrobials for a few months while using the multi-vitamin and curcumin and lithium. If this is not effective then add the glutathione and the phospholipids fats. If the brain injury is very severe to start with, then use all five of these supplements and antimicrobials. In addition to these ideas, be sure to take steps to remove toxins that decrease brain function.


For detox be sure to take the multivitamin discussed above. For more information about detoxification see three other articles on this site: Far Infra-Red Sauna Detox: More Than SweatMTHFR and Detoxification. A Lyme Byte., and Lyme and Mold Toxin Illness. For information about diet, bowel and liver supportfor detox see the Far Infra-Red Sauna Detox article.

Give It Time

Note that these treatments take time. It can take a few months on this regimen to see sustained improvements. It is necessary to try these treatments while using antimicrobials to kill the germs causing the nerve injury.

Hyperbaric Oxygen

At times even the supplements and anti-microbials are not effective. In these situations treatment with hyperbaric oxygen can be helpful. This requires a minimum of 40 dives to a depth of 2.4 atmospheres.


The ideas and recommendations on this website and in this article are for informational purposes only. For more information about this, see the sitewide Terms & Conditions.

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About the Author

Marty Ross, MD is a passionate Lyme disease educator and clinical expert. He helps Lyme sufferers and their physicians see what really works based on his review of the science and extensive real-world experience. Dr. Ross is licensed to practice medicine in Washington State where he has treated thousands of Lyme disease patients in his Seattle practice. 

Marty Ross, MD is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and Georgetown University Family Medicine Residency. He is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) and The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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